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Coming to Zhengzhou

Coming to Zhengzhou

Editor’s note: Michael Murphy writes a weekly column for several newspapers in the U.S. One of them is the major newspaper in Austin, Texas. He’s also written some books in the U.S.A. One book, 'Powerful Attitudes', has sold quite well in the U.S. He had the help of two very successful New York Times best selling authors. One of them wrote the introduction to that book. His name is Harold Bloomfield, M.D. He's sold millions of books in the U.S. The other author is Mark Victor Hansen. He is the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books. He has promoted Michael’s books in the U.S. Michael has also written some poetry that has been published by some well known authors and publishing companies in the U.S.

Now Michael is in Zhengzhou. Let's see his insights towards life and his adventure here.

I came to Zhengzhou just over 13 months ago. I was in for many surprises those first two months that I was here. I've traveled a lot. Almost 30 countries in my five plus decades. I've spent extended times in Russia, Italy, Australia and the Caribbean. I know how to travel and how to adapt to a place.


I've had good and bad experiences during those 13 months. I've dealt directly with people trying to cheat me out of money that I legitimately earned. After having been here less than two months, one was successful in doing so, but, she wasn't Chinese.   

I had an accident on my e-bike when a man pulled out in front of me. The only thing that was damaged was a picture frame that over extended his e-bike. I hit it and broke it . I gave him 50 quai and made him feel that he was in the right and went on. No big deal.


Also, a young man knocked on my apartment door at 6: 30 a.m. one Sunday morning He was panting and was attempting to coerce me to give him money. I refused and he wouldn't leave. I forced him from my apartment. Later, a Chinese friend called the police. Seven policemen came. Nothing else became of it and I blew it off. I even saw the young man again later. I think he was more scared of me than I was of him.


Even with these few events, I will say that my time here in Zhengzhou has been great. I've worked with some wonderful teachers. I've taught some great students. I've written some songs for my students (I play guitar). I've explored the culture. I became good friends with the curators at Zhengzhou Museum and Henan Provincial Museum. I met and became good friends with the director of one of the new major malls near where I live. I've tutor and taught English to grades 1 through grade 10. I've lectured for several hours to MBA students at Zhengzhou University. I've had over 1,000 classroom students. I presented to around 300 Chinese English teachers at a provincial seminar. I've had 4 medical doctors, one Ph.D., one well-known former radio broadcaster and 3 executives of Yutong as private students. I sang in front of over 1,000 people at a very nice New Year's gala. Several times, I've sang in an upscale local bar near Erqi. I've spoken in two churches here.


My experience has been great here in Zhengzhou. I had a successful life in the U.S.A., before coming here. But I've learned a lot about myself, people, life and more having come here.


I think my experience here has been successful because, I chose for it to be. Life is truly about attitude. Many years ago, a man told me that you can get up every Monday and say, 'Oh my God, its Monday. Another week of pure hell.' Or, you can get up every Monday and say, 'Thank God it's Monday. Another week of great people, great experiences and great living.' Whichever of these you choose, you will experience that week.


I don't spend my time with negative people. I say I don't judge them, but, I guess I do. Enough to decide that I don't want to be around them. I hear a lot of expats talking about all the negative things they find wrong with China. My thinking is, we all know what is negative about China (or the U.S.A., or any other place you go), so why make it worse by talking about it?


I have a deep intention in my heart and mind. I intend to be happy. The choice and responsibility is mine. I can be happy or I can focus on, talk about and experience the negative things about life. Teaching in China is great. I get to affect children and adult's lives. I get to touch their lives in a way that no one else can.


I plan to stay in China. I don't know how long, but, I like it here. Great culture, great food and most importantly, great people. Life is great here. I choose to make it that way and it never disappoints me.

Michael Murphy- -

Mo Wen-Long


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8 10, 12 02:20

posted by: Stephen

Thanks for your very interesting post - Pity we couldn't jam together - I left ZZ just before you arrived. Hope to see you when I return. Stephen

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